134/150: A soaring hawk of the prairies

Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Accipitriformes: Accipitridae: Buteo: Buteo regalis (Gray, 1844)

The Ferruginous Hawk is the largest hawk native to North America and is a specialist predator, feeding on specific rodent species. It is classified as Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) due to the loss and fragmentation of its breeding habitat, the prairies of Canada. With an estimated population of 1200 breeding pairs, efforts are being made to reduce habitat loss.

Hawk refers to diurnal (active by day) predatory birds. Hawks are considered among the most intelligent birds, as having one of the best eyesight in the animal kingdom (eight times better than us!). They can see ultra-violet light and can detect polarized light or magnetic fields. Hawks can reach diving speeds of over 240 km an hour and undertake long migrations, travelling thousands of miles a year. Hawk couples are monogamous, usually mating for life.  #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis). Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett goo.gl/LbKqFD
The Ferruginous Hawk, looking fierce. Photo Credit: Tim Sträter goo.gl/2NcyZY
A Ferruginous Hawk perched on a fence. Photo Credit: Dick Daniels goo.gl/iGWyAn
A Ferruginous Hawk soaring through the sky. Photo Credit: Shravans14 goo.gl/e9CWvc

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: KBNA789-04

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ferruginous Hawk

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABZ1637

120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth

Animalia: Nematoda: Chromadorea: Rhabditida (Diesing, 1861)

Nematodes, aka roundworms, are extremely successful organisms that have adapted to almost every ecosystem; including polar regions, soils, as well as the inside of other organisms (you and me!). Nematodes represent 90% of all animals on the ocean floor and have been found at depths of over 3 km below the surface of the Earth in gold mines. Continue reading “120/150: Nematodes, one of the most abundant organisms on Earth”

100/150: Phasmids, the masters of disguise!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Phasmatodea: Diapheromeridae: Diapheromerinae: Diapheromera: Diapheromera femorata (Say, 1824)

The common walking stick (Diapheromera femorata) is the only species walking stick found in Canada.  Phasmids are excellent at camouflage and are commonly mistaken for twigs and leaves, accomplishing this feat by body modifications that resemble leaf veins and bark like tubercles. Phasmids will also sway back in forth, resembling leaves in the wind. Continue reading “100/150: Phasmids, the masters of disguise!”

98/150: Cockroaches, the probable survivors of an apocalyptic future

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Blattodea: Ectobiidae: Parcoblatta: Parcoblatta pennsylvanica (De Geer, 1773)

Cockroaches are one of the most adapted and ancient group of animals still in existence today. They are found on every continent except Antarctica and can survive being decapitated, being submerged in water and high levels of radiation, thanks to their open circulatory system. Continue reading “98/150: Cockroaches, the probable survivors of an apocalyptic future”

65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee

Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apinae:  Bombus: Bombus terricola (Kirby 1837)

The yellow-banded bumble bee is one of nearly 20,000 different species of bees found throughout the world. Yellow-banded bumble bees use a technique called “buzz pollination,” this involves the bee grabbing a flower with its jaws and vibrating their wings, causing inaccessible pollen to shake loose. Continue reading “65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee”

56/150: Are Moose mothers baby thieves?

animalia: Chordata: Mammalia: Artiodactyla: Cervidae: Capreolinae: Alces: Alces americanus (Linnaeus, 1758)

The second week of May begins the start of moose baby season! Baby moose clock in at approximately 30 pounds and can outrun a person within the first five days. Moose calves and their mothers bond quickly and calves are observed calling and attempting to rouse their mothers into playing (usually without success). Continue reading “56/150: Are Moose mothers baby thieves?”